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Bad SEO Habits to Leave in 2019

As we enter a new decade, it’s time to say goodbye to some bad SEO habits.

These are SEO tactics that just plain don’t work, or even worse, can get a website penalized.

Below is a list of the top nine habits that need to be kicked to the curb.

1) Creating Pages with Similar Content

Fortunately, this tactic is not as prevalent as it once was, but this issue periodically comes up, even today.

Pages with similar content, which is usually created for the sole purpose of targeting keywords, is not a good strategy.

For example, duplicating city pages within a website with the city name as the only difference can be harmful.

Essentially, you end up with low-quality pages that can pull down the rest of the site.

2) Link Building Using Generic, Templated Emails

We don’t like receiving spam, so why send it?

Link building has become more of a marketing tactic than just an SEO tactic. That means we have to identify and research our audience before creating our “marketing” message.

Sending a generic, templated message to someone asking for a link is not going to get you great results.

Instead, send fewer emails, but take the time to research that person’s website and understand what would interest their users or customers.

Also, don’t use a general salutation, such as “Dear Webmaster” or “Dear Website Owner.” Use the person’s name.

3) Trying to Solve Every Ranking Problem By Getting More Links

Yes, links still matter today, but they are only one of many factors of the ranking algorithm.

Links are a public endorsement and reflect that a website has valuable information.

Where the problems occur, though, is when links are gathered in an unnatural way, such as through link schemes, poor link directories, purchasing links, and other spammy tactics.

As we start the new year, these aggressive link building techniques should be abandoned and the focus should be on a link strategy that is more marketing and user-focused.

4) Adding Marginal Content for SEO Purposes

You can’t have SEO without content.

SEO and content are intertwined.

You need content to optimize for search.

If you don’t optimize your content, searchers won’t find you.

So, there is no question that we need content, but there is still a problem.

Marginal content is often added to websites simply for the purpose of “improving SEO.”

However, having just any content isn’t good enough.

Avoid churning out a ton of content just for the sake of increasing the number of pages on a website. Google is constantly preaching quality content and even if the search engine wasn’t preaching it, we still need to focus on our users.

Your content has to be considered high quality, especially when compared to the competition.

5) Skipping Over Fundamental On-Page Optimization Elements

There has been speculation over the years regarding the correlation between title tags and rankings.

Regardless of where you stand on this topic, a good title can convert a searcher into a visitor (and even a customer, if you’re lucky).

Take the time to optimize your titles with keywords, but also be sure to make them compelling.

While you’re at it, optimize your heading tags because we know people scan a page after clicking on it in search results.

Optimized headings show visitors that your page addresses their query.

6) Not Fixing (or Identifying) Harmful Technical Problems

After doing countless technical SEO audits, I can confidently tell you that most websites have some type of issue that hurts their search performance.

Adding content and attracting links is great.

But if your website has underlying technical issues, rankings could still be negatively impacted.

The most common technical problems include:

  • Improper redirects (i.e. redirect chains, 302s instead of 301s, non-use of redirects, etc.).
  • Slow page load time.
  • Mobile errors.
  • Duplicate content.
  • Unintentional blocked pages.

7) Forgetting to Optimize Images

One of the often-overlooked SEO opportunities has to do with images.

As SEO professionals, we need to take every opportunity to show up in search results, including optimizing for image search.

When adding images to your website, don’t forget about the image filename and alt attribute.

Instead of an image filename of XYZ123.jpg, consider including a keyword that is descriptive of the image, such as organic-coffee-beans.jpg.

As far as the alt attribute, it should not be keyword stuffed, but should be descriptive of the image.

If the image is in line with the topic of the page, which it should be, then it would be natural to have a keyword in the description.

8) Providing Subpar Reports

I have heard many business owners and marketing directors complain about past experiences with SEO specialists.

The most common issue that is mentioned is not understanding the work done and/or the results. Because so much of what we do in SEO is not tangible, it is critical to create as much transparency as possible.

Instead of making SEO sound like some crazy “magic,” clearly outline your work in monthly reports to your clients or supervisors.

Provide data on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are associated with your SEO efforts and measure, measure, measure.

That is how you will keep clients – or even your job.

9) Not Staying Current on SEO Best Practices

SEO is a moving target.

The fact that you are reading this article likely means you are someone who keeps up with changes in SEO.

Failing to stay up-to-date on best practices, algorithm changes, and webmaster guidelines is detrimental to your SEO success.

A habit that you should take into 2020 is to spend time weekly (even daily) reading up on the latest in SEO.

Read industry blogs, follow experts on Twitter, attend webinars, and go to conferences, so you know what’s going on in search.

 

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Creating a Successful SEO Strategies for Your Business.

Search engine optimization starts with understanding your online business objectives. Do you want to provide company background, gather sales leads, or sell online? If you know what you want to achieve, you can then build a website optimization strategy targeted for your unique goals.

Think of search engine optimization as a puzzle with many pieces – including content, design, links and tracking. Website optimization involves bringing all these pieces together to create a complete picture that makes your Website attractive to search engines and customers alike.

These days, most businesses understand the basic concepts of SEO (search engine optimization) and why it’s important. However, when it comes to developing and executing a sound SEO strategy , most businesses don’t know where to begin. Here are five steps you can take to make sure all of your SEO bases are covered.

Step 1: Make a List of Keywords 

Keywords are at the heart of SEO, and selecting the right ones can make or break your SEO strategy. Compile a list of about 10 keywords associated with your product or services. Plug these keywords into Google’s Keyword Tool , and find variations that make sense for your business.

Using search volume and competition as your measure, narrow down your list to 10-15 keywords you would like to rank for. Then rank this list in order of priority or relevance to your business.

Your keyword list should be a living and breathing document that you review and update at least once a month. This will make sure you stay in keyword research mode and keep your keyword list evolving with industry and search trends.

Step 2: Build Keyword-Focused Pages

When it comes to websites and ranking in search engines, it’s always better to have multiple web pages tailored to specific keywords or phrases. Trying to get one page to rank for a handful of keywords can be next to impossible.

Use your keyword list to determine how many different web pages you should create. Ultimately, the number of web pages you create should coincide with how many different products, offerings, and locations your business has. This will make it much easier for your prospects and customers to find you in search engines no matter what keywords they use.

Each web page needs to include relevant content for your prospects and customers and should include pictures and links to pages on your site to enhance the user experience.

Create a list of all the different web pages you would like to create and rank them in order of importance. Then, create a schedule and devise a plan of attack to get those pages built. You will continue to roll out new web pages and enhance existing ones as you continue your keyword research and optimization . Keep your list updated and prioritized by what web pages will help you to best achieve your business goals.

Step 3: Set Up a Blog

Blogging can be an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage your website’s users. After all, every blog post is a new web page that gives you another chance to rank in search engines. If your business does not already have a blog, set one up, and make a point to blog at least once a week.

Remember, you are blogging primarily for your audience, not the search engines. Write about things your audience and/or prospects are interested in, make sure you’re including relevant keywords where appropriate, and your audience will naturally find you.

Step 4: Create a Link-Building Plan

While our first three steps were dedicated to on-page SEO tactics , link-building is the primary objective of off-page SEO, and it’s also a huge factor in how search engines rank your web pages. Dedicate some time to brainstorm all the different ways you can attract inbound links to your website. Start small – maybe share your links with other local businesses in exchange for links to their sites. Write a few blog posts and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Consider approaching other bloggers for guest blogging opportunities through which you can link back to your website. Another great way to attract inbound links is to use your blog to post articles related to current events or news. That way you have shot of getting linked to from an industry influencer or other bloggers in your industry.

Step 5: Stay Current on SEO News & Practices

Like the overall marketing landscape, the search engine space is ever-evolving. Staying on top of current trends and best practices is a difficult task, but there are multiple online resources that can make it easy for you to stay on top of SEO news and changes that may impact your website and your SEO strategy. Here are a few resources to check out:

  1.  SEOmoz
  2.  SEOBook
  3.  Search Engine Roundtable
  4.  Search Engine Land
  5.  This Blog!

Step 6: Measure and Track Your SEO Success

SEO can take a lot of time and effort. What good is spending all this time and effort if you can’t see the fruits of your labor? There are many metrics you can track on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to keep your SEO plan on track and measure your success. Create a monthly dashboard using Excel or a web analytics package so you can monitor how much traffic comes to your website from organic search.

Also, tracking indexed pages, leads, ROI, inbound links, keywords, and your actual ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages) can help you recognize your success as well as identify areas of opportunity.

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Social Media Analytics for Your Online Business.

The best and highest ranked Indian social media campaign list is definitely incomplete without Narendra Modi’s election campaign in 2014. He was surrounded by over 120 lakh community members on Facebook and over 3.5 million followers on Twitter.  These breakthrough social media analytics point to the fact that, the power of social media is beyond imaginable!  

There are many organizations, businesses and services who have gained tremendous recognition and empowerment due to social media. For example, Lifebuoy’s “help a child reach 5” campaign on social media has created a huge noise and captured attention of millions to the cause of extending a village child’s life beyond 5 years. 

Social media is not all about posting, circulating and consuming news or current trends across the world. Analyzing your content and audience plays an equally important role in optimizing your core objective (create awareness, get more followers or likes, double your charity, get more clients, create a viral circuit of your videos or images and so on). 

Here are some interesting social media statistics and reasons why to believe and breathe social media today.

To begin with let’s deep dive into the main components of social media analytics that you should be aware about: 

Reach

Remember the time when Facebook was unveiled and all that mattered on your profile was: 

  1. Number of likes on your pictures 
  2. The exhaustive “friends” list? 

Gathering fans and followers for your business is first step towards forming your tribe. Once people have taken this first step, you will get a better learning about them and this help you to tune your posts or engagements and communication towards them more finely. While the number of followers and likers is an important metric to count on, it is only the first step.  

Just knowing the people is incomplete without being aware of where they come from and who are they. Location and demographics also play a vital role in determining your reach. Considering the above use case of Mr. Modi in mind, he did use social media as an effective tool to reach out to the youth in the metros extensively. But, to penetrate deeper into the country he personally visited a few places like Varanasi to reach out to the people there.   

Engagement

Engagement is about how well you have retained your followers or likers. It includes: 

  1. Likes/Hearts/Favorites 
  2. Comments 
  3. Tags 

Facebook Business Page Insights

Engagement basically refers to the exact number of people who have accepted and are in agreement with your content. Many a times it so happens that, you might receive 100’s of likes within just minutes of publishing a post whereas some other posts many not even be looked at. Keep a constant tab on the content and reaction pattern is a must.  

Amplification

Amplification is nothing but the virality of your social media content. This includes the number of retweets and shares. This metric indicates the number of people who got your message and by sharing your content they are just drilling their engagement with your business deeper.  

Conversion 

Last but not the least, after reaching out to your relevant audience, engaging with them appropriately and getting them to share your content, the number of people who actually bought your service or product. Conversion rate is more or less related to engagement wherein your audience have absorbed the content you have put up on social media channels.  

Top Tools for Social Media Analytics:

To ease out the entire process of analyzing your social media profile, here are some great tools to look out for: 

  1. HootSuite 
  2. Sprout Social 
  3. Tweet Deck 
  4. Crowd Booster 
  5. Social Flow 

These tools are developed not only to track your social media presence, but also to help you create, schedule and distribute your content on various channels. View their official sites for more details.   

Social media is all about establishing a good virtual connect with your well-wishers, social media analytics help you figure out the success rate of that agenda.

 

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Basics Simplified For Your Online Business! ( Google Analytics )

Google Analytics is a well heard and known term, especially amongst e-commerce businesses and entrepreneurs. It is important to understand your customers’ behaviour, habits, activity and their perception about you. Quite often, great statistics and numbers are posted by online businesses. Have you wondered where do they get these insights without meeting their customers personally? In this post get all your queries explained about google analytics.  

What is Google Analytics? Why you need it? 

If you owned a physical store your customers’ behavior your customer behavior and choices can be clearly observed by you. In case of online businesses like yours, customers, their behavior, and valuable insights are provided by google analytics. 

These valuable insights available at your fingertips include: 

  • Your site interface  
  • Customer behavior  
  • Where do they come from, etc. 

You will get the most out of this post if you have set up google analytics for your website. Quick and easy setup steps are mentioned below.    

Step 1: Go to google analytics, create a new account, choose a website and fill in other required details.  

Step 2: You will get a tracking ID for your tracking code. Which will more or less look like –  

Step 3: The above code needs to be pasted in the next window, go to settings, turn on the e-commerce tracking feature and click on save. It might take 24 hours for google analytics to start collecting information.  Once your account is active you can start viewing business reports.

Welcome to Google Analytics Dashboard! 

Note: Here you only see the big picture and not the underlining currents which contributed to the reports.  

In order to make quality business focused decisions all need to look at is –  

These tabs appear on the left panel of your dashboard. They need to be your main focus points at first. You will be more confident and pro to surf other reports in analytics once you master these basic ones. Before you go deeper in the reports, remember to set desired date correct on the top right corner.  

What do these reports mean?  

Real – Time Report  

*Information in the image is blurred for privacy purpose. 

It simply projects all activities happening on your site. It is a great tool to monitor website traffic in depth – who is on your site at that very moment, their geographic location and pages they are browsing.  

A real-time report is mainly useful for pulling out the email, blog, social media or campaign performance. Also, for tracking them on the spot impact of traffic on your site. You can utilize this information to make better marketing and promotional decisions for your business.

It tells you more about who is on your website. This report provides in-depth insight into the age, gender, geography, language, device used (desktop, mac, mobile, etc..). You can figure the total number of visitors on your site (sessions), new & returning users.     

Simple terms explained:  

Sessions: A group of on-site activity a user makes within a given time span. A single user can open multiple sessions at the same time.  

Users: Total unique visitors to your site. There are two types of users: new and returning. Google analytics creates a unique id for every new user (desktop, mobile, etc..). Thus if your id is 01 you are a new user (desktop). If you go back to the same site again then you are a returning user. But if a different device is used (mobile), then your id will be 02 (new user).   

Page views: It is the total number of pages viewed (loaded or reloaded).  

Pages/Sessions: The metric page per session is the average number of pages viewed in a session.  

Avg. Session Duration: It refers to the average amount of time your visitor stays on your page.  

Bounce Rate: Percentage of visitors who view only one page of your site within a stipulated time period. There is no further activity performed by the visitor which leads to session expiry.   

You can change or add segments as well in this section. By adding an additional segment you are opening your analytics ground a bit more by comparing two segments. For example, you can compare people who bought your product and people who didn’t buy the product in order to understand the difference between them.  

You can make use of this information to: 

  • Understand people from which country, state and city are viewing your website and are interested in it. This will help you to cater to these specific audiences by creating campaigns or communications meant for them. For example, shipping costs, sales, and so on.  
  • As you know which device (mobile, desktop, android, mac, etc.) is popular amongst your audience you can optimize your site accordingly.  

Acquisition Report 

This report projects how your visitors and users found and arrived at your website. From where did they arrive at your website? Which other sites got them to yours? What distribution strategy is working and what is not is highlighted here. Apart from acquisition overview, Referrals helps you to understand which pages and domains are linking to your store and directing traffic.  

Behavior Report 

The behavior report tells you the improvement areas in your content and how your visitors are reacting to it. Bounce rate, page load time, unique views are captured here. This report will help you improve your customer experience on your site thus increasing conversions.  

Conversion Report 

The Ecommerce tab under conversion is the reason why you turned on the Ecommerce tracking initially while signing up. Here google analytics tracks your product, transactions and time of purchase on the basis of the information it receives. These insights help you understand which product is liked by and suited for your customers. 

Google Analytics for Campaigns 

One of the most important things to track in analytics are your marketing efforts in the form of campaigns. So how do you track your campaigns? With a link! 

Google analytics facilitates you to quickly create and automatically track campaign specific special URL. To track campaigns automatically all you have to do is log on to Google’s campaign URL builder tool.  

You need to paste your website link and provide some relevant information asked. Once this is done, Google provides you with a complete trackable URL. This URL can be used wherever you wish to promote your product or site. Google will automatically recognize the link and track all the actions performed by the user. These searches can be viewed in the Acquisition – Campaigns tab.  

Most people find google analytics very difficult to use because of jargons and complex terms used in reports. However, understanding simple basics of your business and audience is utmost crucial to growing your business.